Education and Training
Environmental Health Specialist
Environmental health specialists must have one of the following combinations of education and training to obtain registration in Oregon:
- Bachelor's degree from a university or college with at least 45 quarter-hours of science background in environmental sanitation and two years of experience in environmental health working under the supervision of an environmental health specialist
- Or, a graduate degree in community health or public health and one year of experience in environmental health working under the supervision of an environmental health specialist
- Reciprocity: Bachelor's or graduate degree as noted above and affidavit of licensure demonstrating proof of current active registration with no current or pending disciplinary action. The registration must have been issued by a regulatory body of another state or a national association recognized by the board.
Environmental Health Trainee
Applicants who do not meet the work experience requirements but who meet the educational requirements may obtain a trainee license. Each combination of education and experience has a specific training period (as specified above).
A trainee may take the written examination before completion of the required work experience but must take the Oregon Laws and Rules examination before a trainee registration will be issued. (Please see more information below under Oregon Laws & Rules Examination.)
Environmental health specialists and trainees must pay all relevant fees and submit forms available online or by request to the HLO.
National Environmental Health Association Examination
Applicants for registration as an environmental health specialist must pass the Registered Environmental Health Specialist Examination (REHS). The exam must be passed within three years preceding the date of application for registration.
Applicants approved to sit for the REHS examination receive a letter from HLO describing the necessary steps to take the exam. Requests to sit for the REHS examination usually take two to three weeks for processing by NEHA.
Note: Applicants who are coming to Oregon via the reciprocity pathway (already licensed in another state) do not need to take the REHS examination.
For a blueprint and study materials, visit www.neha.org.
Oregon Laws and Rules Examination
To obtain an environmental health trainee registration, applicants must complete an Oregon Laws and Rules Examination, which is administered through iLearn. A certificate of completion must be printed upon passage of the examination and submitted to the HLO with a trainee registration application.
Application for registration renewal should be made in advance of the registration expiration date, which is one year from the date of issuance. If the renewal is made by the expiration date, the cost to renew is the same as the original registration fee.